Can’t Win in Costa Rica. Samsung at it Again! Losing Jobs to Mexico. Update Central.
- Last Tuesday night’s loss in San Jose preceded by the loss at home to Mexico leaves the United States National Team with zero points through 2 of the ten-game hexagonal tournament to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. The Costa Ricans beat the USA 4-0 last Tuesday night, the USA’s worst loss in World Cup qualifying in 36 years. So the pundits are all over the USA’s performance and specifically their coach, Jurgen Klinsmann. To my surprise, I had predicted that JK would have ‘stepped down’ by now (fired in laymen’s terms), but there are some factors that may keep him in his job. One of those factors: MONEY. The US Soccer federation renewed JK’s contract in 2014 for four years at a base salary of $2.5 million a year so my math skills tell me that $5m would need to be paid out to fulfill JK’s contract. Another factor is the timing as the next round of qualifying games is only four months away in March. For Klinsmann, the long layoff is brutal in two ways: First, it offers the federation plenty of time to make a move, while also meaning that Klinsmann — if he continues on — will have to live with the sting of this past week for quite some time. The soccer community is obviously concerned. While the top three countries coming out of the qualifying tournament automatically go to 2018 World Cup, the chance that the national team’s poor start leaves them out of the every four-year tournament is problematic. Why? National team sponsors spend millions and support the eye-opening expenses incurred by the team. In 2015, the youth national teams and player development programs ran up expenses over $14m and the men’s national team operating expenses went north of $31m. These expenses are covered by the many sponsors looking for the national team to yield exposure and impressions at every international tournament. Would all of these sponsors continue to pour money into the national team if the team did not qualify for Russia in 2018? With or without Jurgen Klinsmann the USA must qualify for the World Cup.
- In previous posts I have reaped havoc on Samsung over their slow recall of the S7 Note smartphone – the phones now prohibited on all U.S. domestic flights. Bringing too much technology to market too fast has yielded Samsung millions of dollars in losses and a continued tarnished image. You would think that their corporate brass would mandate that all product categories be reviewed and retested to ensure best-in-class performance and safety? Nope, as last week Samsung said it would recall about 2.8 million of its top-load washing machines in the United States to address safety concerns. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported last week that the top of the washing machines can unexpectedly detach from the chassis during use, posing a risk of injury from impact. Samsung received nine related reports of injuries, including a broken jaw, injured shoulder and other impact-related injuries. So the corporate giants of the world, under pressure to deliver year-over-year double-digit profits, continue to move product to market that is untested and obviously not safe. Inexcusable behavior, again.
- Sugar-coating a decision to move production “off-shore” or a strategic decision to deceive the American consumer? Last week, in light of the presidential election, Ford Motor Company is moving ahead with plans to shift production of small cars to Mexico from Michigan. Obviously Ford’s workforce and their unions have big problems with this decision as it seems jobs will be impacted. Ford’s answer: they are shifting production of the Ford Focus to Mexico to provide more production capacity for two ‘more important’ products to be built in it’s U.S. factories. While on the surface this sounds like a strategic move, the decision is basically a like-for-like regarding job opportunities….it keeps the workforce level but does not increase the number of job opportunities for Americans. Why not figure out a way to keep the production of the Focus in the U.S. and ADD production lines for the two new products that would yield more job opportunities? Let Ford figure out a way to overcome the cheap Mexican labor and build the small cars in our factories. I am not a proponent of government interference but maybe the President-elect’s plan for import tariffs makes sense?
- Updates: Donald, please be diligent with selecting your Cabinet. Matt Ryan: get us to the playoffs! Time to see Iron Maiden live. Brangelina and the Phillipines’ Duterte have gone quiet…thankfully. Daylight savings time – please come back soon. Happy Thanksgiving to all.
Adios and have a happy Sunday Funday!